Thursday, 12 November 2009

Study Day 2010 - save the date!

We have have been starting to plan the next Clinical Librarian Study Day, which will be held on Monday 11th October, 2010, at the Leicester General Hospital Education Centre.

This will be the 5th study day we have run and this time we are keen to find out what themes or sessions other Clinical Librarians would like to see included. Early study days often included sessions on how to set up a CL service, and although we have focused on different topics in the last two events we do still get feedback from participants that information on setting up new services is still useful. So please do let us have your thoughts on this, by commenting on this post or directly to We can then ensure we shape the programme around the needs and suggestions of potential attendees.

Watch this space for further information and registration details, which will be available early 2010.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Evidence summaries

So how do Clinical Librarians present their search results to clinicians? It's something I get asked about a lot. I don't know if my way's the right way, and I'd be interested to know what other people do too.

Generally I consider the level of evidence, and the date published and go from there. I never paraphrase results, I always lift the conclusion from the abstract. Due to time, it's rare that I'd do a full critical appraisal of a full text article, so most decisions of whether to include a study are based on a reading of the abstract.

I'd be really interested to know how others approach this, and what your opinions are. Please comment below!

Monday, 24 August 2009

HLG 2010

We have the great pleasure in announcing that the 2010 CILIP Health Libraries Group Conference will take place on the 19th & 20th July at The Lowry, Salford Quays in the great city of Manchester.

The title of the conference is: Keeping information centre stage amongst changing scenery.

We are now issuing a call for abstracts and are asking for interested parties to submit ideas for papers by Monday 30th November 2009.


Manchester is one of the best conference cities in the UK and we have selected The Lowry at Salford Quays to host the conference because it boasts fantastic facilities in a lovely location. It is a short tram journey from the city centre, meaning that shopping, dining, accommodation, sight seeing and leisure activities are in plentiful supply.

Manchester is also very well connected and is easily accessible from anywhere in the UK. It is also home to the UK’s 4th busiest airport meaning that travel from abroad is straightforward.

More details on the conference and booking will be available nearer the time.

Conference theme - Keeping information centre stage amongst changing scenery.

2010 will be a very important year for health librarians of all sectors. The recession may tighten budgets yet further, there will probably be a general election shortly before the conference and that may result in a change in government.

The conference will seek to understand how, amidst all these factors, we can keep libraries, librarians and most importantly of all, quality information at the centre of what we do and at the centre of our organisations.

We would encourage you to consider whether you could give a presentation, however long or short, that would be of interest to delegates and/or of help to the profession.

Suggestions for topics include:

- Gaining and keeping a higher profile

- Collaboration

- Use of Information Technology

- Evidence-based librarianship

However we will be delighted to receive abstracts on topics other than these suggestions or feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss your proposal.

Presentation formats:
Presentations could be from anything from 10 to 30 minutes, including questions, so if you’ve never presented at a conference before or if you are an expert, there is an opportunity for you here.


The closing date for abstract submissions is Monday 30th November 2009. We hope to let you know the outcome of your applications by the 31st December 2009.

Please send your abstract submissions via email to either Pip Divall, Conference Director, or Stuart Glover, Programme Lead, at and

Submissions should include the following:

- Names of author(s)
- Name of presenter(s) at the conference (if known)
- Contact details of author(s) and presenter(s) including email addresses, postal addresses and direct telephone number
- Length of presentation
- Audio-visual requirements (e.g. PowerPoint, Internet access, overheads)
- Abstract (500 word maximum)

Conference news
We have set up a conference blog for the very latest information. Please visit:

Latest news can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Keep your eyes peeled for advance notice of the 5th Clinical Librarian Conference in Summer 2011 too!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Will we see you at ICML?

At the end of this month, Sarah, Louise & Linda are heading out to Brisbane to host the Clinical Librarian Conference aspect of the ICML conference in Brisbane. Please do consider attending the sessions if you're going to be there!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Learning the lingo

Sarah Sutton has just emailed this to the mailing list:

"When I started as a CL I didn't understand much of the medical terminology (my extensive studies of ER and Scrubs only got me so far, Grey's Anatomy wasn't around in those days). One of my colleagues has found this handy learning tool from the National Library for Medicine on medical terminology, it's aimed at patients but v. handy for CLs from an non health background."

Friday, 15 May 2009

Clinical Librarian Study Day, GETEC, 8th May 2009

Last Friday was the Clinical Librarian Study Day: Strength in Depth. A summary of the day is available on our web site.

Our Keynote Speaker, Andrew Miniuks, Head of the Content and Quality Directorate for NHS Evidence spoke to us about the new search engine. He told us that one of the main aims in designing NHS Evidence was to define "what does good look like?" Customisation of the site is set to launch later this year. Andrew said that NHS Evidence want to understand how advanced users like clinical librarians assess the performance of the FAST search engine (the new NHS Evidence main page search) relative to the current Healthcare Database Advanced Search (HDAS or Search 2.0).

The plan for NHS Evidence is to run a user feedback-driven evaluation, so it seems like it's up to us to let them know exactly what we think.

NHS Evidence doesn't want to own the content of the results that the search engine retrieves. Each provider of evidence is accredited according to their criteria, and the plan is to re-accredit providers every 3 years. NICE were also put through the accreditation, so no easy ride for them, apparently.

The Panel Discussion featured Sarah Sutton (SS), Clinical Librarian, Andrew Miniuks (AM) and David Stewart(DS), Director of Health Libraries for North West Health Care Libraries Unit. The question of what was going to happen to the NHS Core Content resources now was asked, and AM replied that at the moment that was uncertain, but hoped for an answer by October '09. DS stated that the SHA Library Leads (SHALL) don't want to see a return to regional portals for electronic content.

AM also said that NHS Evidence would be tracking 0 hits results on the database to see why they may occur.

SS stated that NHS Evidence should really be put on every Trust's intranet pages if the NHS want users to use it instead of Google.

Another delegate asked about the workstreams that might be lost now that the National Library for Health no longer exists. DS answered that the SHALL group was planning to pick up as much of the work on the National Service Framework for Libraries, the Process Costing Framework, alerting service etc. as possible. SS then asked if SHALL is now the "mothership" for NHS librarians, and DS said yes.

AM also informed us that NHS Evidence are working on a better marketing strategy. There is an "Ambassadors' Pack" which apparently says that NHS Evidence is "no longer FOR librarians", but Linda Atkinson pointed out that the National Library for Health was never FOR librarians either, it was a LIBRARY. The general consensus of the audience was that NHS Evidence should not forget that we are their best marketing tool, and their most expert users, so alienating librarians would be a very bad move.

The following sessions Clinical Librarians: Variations a theme presented 5 different models of Clinical Librarians. These presentations are all available on our web site. Ann Daly's presentation on her model based in an acute Trust also has a very true-to-life video on it which is worth watching. Lyn Wilson is a Patient Information Librarian which sounds like a really rewarding and challenging role, and with her library's geographical position at the entrance to the hospital, a really valued role too! Stephen Ayre presented to us the organisational approach taken at his Trust, and the way in which he works closely with the Trust's Audit team. The PCT Commissioning side of things was presented to us by Richard Crookes, and his searches for "Exceptional Case Reviews" on non-commissioned treatments sounded really interesting and as though they can make a real difference for individual patient care. Hélène Gorring presented on the role of a Clinical Librarian in a Mental Health Trust which had had fabulous feedback from the clinical teams.

The two workshop sessions were in the afternoon. The first, "What are we missing?" which I facilitated along with Janette Camosso-Stefinovic, was about the different sources we use to answer clinical (and sometimes non-clinical) queries. I've written this up and added it to the study report, as well as adding the web sites mentioned to the presentation.

Louise Hull is currently making sense of the notes from the second session on search filters and as soon as she's done so I'll make sure it goes onto the web site.

We've had some really good feedback on the day, as well as few ideas for how to improve for our next study day!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Article with T-shirt potential!

My colleague Sarah Sutton, has co-authored the paper published today with clinicians working in A&E at University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust. She's especially proud as she didn't have to prod her co-authors on the title, it was all their work. She's now threatening to put this on a t-shirt. I feel a design competition coming on.

In an emergency-call the clinical librarian!
T J Coats, S Sutton, C Vorwerk and M W Cooke
Emergency Medicine Journal 2009;26:321-323; doi:10.1136/emj.2008.065011 © 2009 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and the College of Emergency Medicine.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Contacts list now online

I've finally managed to collate all of the contacts details I was sent into an online list which is located here on our web site. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to send me theirs, and if you're not on the list and would like to be, please email me.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Adding yourself to the CL Map

Go to map: Clinical Librarians Map

(ETA: You need to be logged into Google to make this work.)

(Or just to the left of this screen.)

Select Edit button on left hand side panel

This will release the option to add a marker:

Select the placemarker tool.

Drag & drop the placemarker to your location.

A dialog box should appear for you to add your details.

Click on OK when you’re happy.

Click on the “done” button on the left hand panel when you’ve finished.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Clinical Librarian Study again! And NEW on our web site

Don't forget about 8th May at George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton.

Also, I spent Friday afternoon updating the Clinical Librarian bibliography. I'd be interested to hear of any unpublished studies that I can add to the list.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Mapping Clinical Librarians

At Leicester we often get asked about people coming to visit us, and about who else might be available to visit to talk to about clinical librarianship. Ruth Foxlee from York (via Oz!) was asking me about this very thing only this week.

As I've been thinking about the CL contacts database, and how best to set it up, I've also been thinking about how we could map CLs so we can see at a glance where other CLs are working. I think I might have a working map here: CL Google map but I'm not totally sure I've made it work. I've been experimenting with Frappr too, but it seemed to have a mind of its own.

If anyone has any better solutions, please let me know! And if it does work, I hope you add yourselves.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Getting the best out of search filters, University of York, 26/2/09

I attended this one day course with Louise yesterday, as we both wanted to know more about using search filters in our work.

Carol Lefebvre & Julie Glanville are both highly experienced searchers & developers of search filters and ran the course really well, considering it was a new one, and has quite complex content. Overall, Louise & I really enjoyed it, but felt we needed even more time to spend on looking at appraising filters and learning about translating them between interfaces and databases. Our only complaint was that we didn't spend long enough on the exercise trying out the filters and translating them.

I tend to use quite pragmatic filters in my searching, and do it in a very slapdash way, so to learn that the real way is better was no surprise! But I do wonder how much time I would have to really make use of what I have learned. I do hope so.

We found out about the web site belonging to the InterTASC Information Specialists Sub Group, which aims to identify & share best practice in information retrieval for health technology assessments. The web site is a repository for published & unpublished filters, and Carol & Julie encouraged us to add any we may find in the course of our own searching. It also contains guidance on the critical appraisal of existing filters. It looks like an excellent resource, and I am planning to make use of it in the future.

Sarah is attending the Oxford course next week, and hopefully she'll enjoy it as much as we did.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Clinical Librarian Study Day : Strength in Depth

Cure your winter blues with nearly guaranteed good weather and some useful training!
For the Clinical Librarian Conference in 2006 we had wonderful sunshine, for the Study Day in 2007 another gorgeous day. Come to this years Study Day and see if we can maintain our record. And even if the weather is terrible we have a stimulating day to distract you from the view out of the windows!
You can find out all you need to know about NHS Evidence from our keynote speaker Carol Bewick, Engagement and management Programme Director, NHS Evidence. Then hear about the new areas Clinical Librarians are now working in. In the afternoon we will be finding the evidence that you may be missing by looking in new places and using new search strategies in practical workshops. All this is priced at a level that a credit crunched trust can afford. We even have a January Sale (early bird) rate.
This day is not limited to Clinical Librarians, anyone working in health libraries will find it useful.
Please go to to find out more and make your booking.

Monday, 19 January 2009

CL contacts list

On the UHL NHS Trust Libraries web site, we've always had a list of clinical librarians in the UK & Internationally who are prepared to a) have their contact details online and b) be contacted by other librarians.

Our web site has spam-proof software to protect email addresses.

If you'd like to be included, please send me your contact details & once I've collated enough I will add them to the site.